Spring Meetings to focus on improvement of World Bank processes

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As the IMF/World Bank Spring Meetings kick-off in Washington DC this week, organisers say delegates can look forward to major improvements in the World Bank’s processes.

The Spring Meetings bring together central bankers and finance ministers, private sector executives as well as civil society and academia to discuss solutions to global macro-economic challenges.

The meetings take place in Washington D.C in the United States from the 14 to 20 April.

The World Bank says it will be unveiling various interventions aimed at improving speed and simplicity in the bank’s processes.  The bank says improvements include the reduction of the waiting period for approvals, standardisation of procurement processes, and appointment of a single representative for multiple countries.

President of the World Bank, Ajay Banga, says there is an effort to build a better World Bank.

“Last week we began financing 50-year through RDID at no additional cost for projects that provide cross-border benefits creating an incentive system for countries to invest in such a project. We created a system to reduce interest rates for projects that address global challenges. To fund these incentives and more we’ve announced a Livable Planet fund that can be funded by governments and by philanthropies. We are now working to raise contributions to that fund, all these instruments help us to support the ambitions of middle-income countries.”

Meanwhile, Reserve Bank Governor Lesetja Kganyago says the meetings will see the release of several reports outlining the trajectory of the global economy, including that of South Africa.

“The big thing when you go to the Spring Meetings is the release of the big flagship reports, the world economic outlook that tells us the state of the global economy, the global financial stability that tells us the state of global financial system and the fiscal monitor which tells us the state of public finances in various countries. It helps you locate South Africa in that broader map.  And when you engage with those policymakers you form a better perspective of where the global economy is going and how South Africa fairs in that.”

Emphasising the importance of representation in multilateral institutions, Kganyago also welcomed the appointment of another Sub-Saharan representative in the IMF, bringing total representation for the region to three representatives.